Hymn to the Anglican Communion

Hymn to the Anglican Communion

Have you aver had that experience where someone apologies to you and then immediately undermines it by blaming you all over again for whatever it was?

That is how it felt at the end of the Anglican Communion Primates meeting last week.

While the Archbishop of Canterbury made a personal apology for the way the church has treated LGBT people in the final press conference, the communique sent out by the Primates meeting focussed on its decision to suspend the part of the Anglican Communion which has been most supportive of LGBT people – The Episcopal Church in the USA.

First the apology – then the blame.

In actual fact, the communique didn’t even speak of an apology.  It only referred to ‘expressing profound sorrow’ – a phrase which smacks of the kind of apology which starts “I’m sorry, but you made me do it”

The Primates actions have completely undermined the Archbishop of Canterbury’s apology and as we all know – actions speak louder than words.

Faced with their own disunity on sexuality, they turned on the one scapegoat which most of them could agree on – The Episcopal Church.  The actions of this progressive part of the Anglican Communion in consecrating an openly gay bishop in 2003 (the Church of England has had gay Bishops for decades – just not openly) set them on a collision course with other parts of the Communion.   More recently, their moves to embrace same-sex marriage have put them beyond the pale to those same Anglicans who threatened to walk-out if the USA was not taught a lesson.

It reminded me of a parody of the old hymn ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ and inspired me to write a new one, especially for the Primates and the Anglican Communion.  If some find it offensive, then they will begin to feel a little of the outrage which many LGBT Anglicans feel today.

(To the tune for Onward Christian Soldiers – St Gertrude)

Onward Christian Primates trying not to war,
Each with their agendas going on before
Love of Christ forgotten, desperate to agree
Keep ourselves together, suspend the enemy!

Onward Christian Primates
Punishing the gays
With the love of Jesus
Falling by the way

At the sign of triumph, Americans must flee
Excluded from our councils, we will soon be free.
Prejudice will flourish, and hypocrisy
Brothers lift your voices, eject the enemy!

Onward Christian Primates
Punishing the gays
With the love of Jesus
Falling by the way

Like a mighty tortoise Primates of our God
You are barely moving, marching on the spot
When you are in conflict on LGB sand T
Put your faith in politics, not in charity.

Onward Christian Primates
Punishing the gays
With the love of Jesus
Falling by the way

Onward then Communion, join our happy throng
Be self-righteous with us in this triumph song
Forget the Gays and Lesbians, forget the pain they feel
Press on then regardless, exclude the enemy!

Onward Christian Primates
Punishing the gays
With the love of Jesus
Falling by the way

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Hammering on the door

Hammering on the door

According to tradition, on the 31st  October 1517, an Augustinian monk called Martin Luther nailed 95 objections to the church’s teaching and practise onto the doors of All Saints Church in Wittenberg.  Thus began the Protestant Reformation.

In December 1955, Dr Martin Luther King Jr supported the Montgomery Bus Boycott and became a leader in the American Civil Rights movement against prejudice, discrimination and injustice.  He often found himself in conflict not just with political power, but also with those whose Christian faith fuelled their prejudice, aggression and violence.

Today church and society still get things wrong.  We exclude people who are created in God’s image.  We discriminate and use Bible or tradition to justify our actions.  We support unjust rules and laws in the name of church or political unity.  We use prejudice in a vane attempt to protect ourselves from our fears.

There is still a place for hammering on the doors of religiosity.

Jacob Luther was the little known younger brother of Martin Luther  …